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Kamerman, 2000 and

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Implications of Increasing Family Poverty
Given the disturbing increases in income
inequality in the United States, Great Britain,
and other industrial countries, it is vital to
consider the impact of placing ever larger
numbers of families with children into lower
SES groups. In addition to placing children
into conditions which are detrimental to their
immediate health status, there may well be a
negative behavioural and psychosocial health
dividend to be reaped in the future.
Poverty Rate (%)
Child Poverty in Lone-Parent and Other Families in
Canada and Four Comparison States, 2000
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
55.5
51.6
45.6
13.8
10.4
3.6
Canada
Denmark
13.3
1.5
15.8
6.7
Sweden
UK
USA
Source: Innocenti Report Card on Child Poverty in
Rich Nations, June 2002
Other Families
Lone-Parent
Poverty Rate (%)
Percentage of Persons Living in Poverty in LoneParent Working and Non-Working Families in
Canada and Four Comparison States, 1994
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
73.0
72.0
65.0
39
34.0
26
24.0
10
Canada
Denmark
23
4
Sweden
UK
Source: Society at a Glance, OECD, 2001
Non-Working Single
Working Single
USA
Proportion Using Facilities
Proportion of Young Children Using Child Care
Facilities in Canada and Four Comparison States,
1998, 1999
90
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
83
79
71
60
58
44
50
48
26
2
Canada
Denmark
Sweden
UK
Source: Kamerman, 2000
0 to 3 Years
3 years to Mandatory Age
USA
Childcare and Early Child Education Government
Policy Situation in Canada, 2000
• Canadian governments provide universal
education for children ages 5-6, but for those
under five years of age, government supported
childcare may be available for those with special
needs, poor, or working parents. The funding
strategies are mixed, but come primarily from
parent fees. Only 10% of Canadian children
have access to regulated child care.
• Primary source: Kamerman, 2000
Childcare and Early Child Education
Government Policy Situation in Denmark, 2000
• Danish governments provide universal
education for children 5-7, and provides
childcare from 6 months to six years for
working parents. Government funding is
supplemented by income-related parent fees to a
maximum of 20-30% of costs.
• Primary source: Kamerman, 2000
Childcare and Early Child Education
Government Policy Situation in Sweden, 2000
• Swedish governments provide universal
childcare and early childhood education for
children from birth through six years of age.
Funding is provided by federal and local
governments.
• Primary source: Kamerman, 2000
Childcare and Early Child Education
Government Policy Situation in the UK, 2000
• The United Kingdom provides universal
education for children 3-4 years of age. From
ages 0-4 child care is available for special needs
and poor families with funding coming from
governments or income-related fees.
• Primary source: Kamerman, 2000
Childcare and Early Child Education
Government Policy Situation in the USA, 2000
• The United States provides free education for
children aged 5. For children from 0-4 years
of age child care is available for special needs,
poor, welfare, and working parents. Funding
comes from governments but parent fees
cover 76% of costs. Many US parents are
unable to afford such care.
• Primary source: Kamerman, 2000
Provisions for Paid Maternity Leave in Canada
and Four Comparison Nations, 1995-1996, 2002
• Canada: Fifty-two weeks paid at 55%.
• Denmark: Twenty-eight weeks paid at 100% salary.
• Sweden: Fifty-two weeks paid at 80% salary.
• United Kingdom: Twelve weeks paid at 90%.
• United States: Unpaid.
• Source: International Reform Monitors, 2002.
Policies that Support Compatibility of Work and
Bringing Up Children in Canada, 2002
• Canadian provincial governments provide subsidized
child care for some low income parents, but supply is
inadequate to the demand and cutbacks have worsened
the situation in some provinces. Most families still must
use private, unregulated child care. The most
enlightened province is Quebec which introduced
subsidized child care for all children. The pursuit of
family-friendly workplaces on the part of employers
remains in its infancy in Canada. The National Child
Benefit is available to low income families but many
provinces claw these back from families on social
assistance.
Policies that Support Compatibility of Work and
Bringing Up Children in Denmark, 2002
• Denmark provides comprehensive provision of
social services to support families. There are
day nurseries, municipal day care centres,
kindergartens, youth recreation centres, and
age integrated institutions. Extra benefits are
provided for single-parent families.
• Source: International Reform Monitor, Newsletters, 2002
Policies that Support Compatibility of Work and
Bringing Up Children in Sweden, 2002
• Sweden has very good infrastructure of support
services to working parents. There is a parental
allowance of 60 days per year per child for sick
children under 12 years of age. Fees for childcare expenses are being lowered and
unemployed parents are guaranteed three hours
of child care per day. Extra benefits are
provided for single-parent families.
• Source: International Reform Monitor, Newsletters, 2002
Policies that Support Compatibility of Work and
Bringing Up Children in the UK, 2002
• In the United Kingdom new measures are
being implemented to assist employed
single parents such as a child tax credit and
obtain child care.
• Source: International Reform Monitor, Newsletters,
2002
Policies that Support Compatibility of Work and
Bringing Up Children in the USA, 2002
• In the USA some employers offer subsidized
child care facilities; the vast majority do not.
After welfare reform, more low income families
with children need to find and hold jobs.
Federal employees are entitled to 24 hours per
year for paid work-leave for child-related
activities.
• Source: International Reform Monitor, Newsletters, 2002
Policy Trends Weakening Moves Towards
Quality Child Care for Canadian Women
• the reinforcing of decentralist tendencies in
government, which resulted in part from
anxieties about Quebec separation
• governmental dealing with fiscal pressures
through reduced social and health
expenditures
• federal withdrawal from program
responsibility through power devolution to the
provinces.
• - Doherty, Friendly, and Oloman, 1998.
Figure 14: Changes in Number of Low
Income Children in Ontario Since 1989
In Female Sole Support Families
89%
91%
In Two Income Families
62%
In Long Term Unemployed Families
48%
In Full Employment Families
103%
In Working Low Income Families
Total Number of Low Income Children
0%
20%
91%
40%
60%
80%
100%120%
Percentage Increase
Figure 17: Increases in Waiting Lists for
Subsidized Housing, 1988-98, Toronto
500%
500%
400%
300%
300%
200%
100%
100%
0%
Seniors
Families
Singles
Low Income
%
45
40
35
30
25
20
15
10
5
0
Q1-Richest
Q2
Q3
Q4
Q5-Poorest
1971
1986
1991
1996
Canadian Policy Directions
It has become obvious that people on the low end of
the income scale are cut off from the ongoing
economic growth that most Canadians are enjoying.
It is also obvious that in these times of economic
prosperity and government surpluses that most
governments are not yet prepared to address these
problems seriously, nor are they prepared to ensure
a reasonable level of support for low-income people
either inside or outside of the paid labour force.
-- Poverty Profile, 1998. Ottawa: National Council of Welfare
Reports, Autumn, 2000.
Reducing Health Inequalities
We consider that without a shift of
resources to the less well off, both in and
out of work, little will be accomplished
in terms of a reduction of health
inequalities by interventions addressing
particular downstream’ influences.
-- Report of the Acheson Independent Inquiry
into Inequalities in Health, 1998, p. 33.
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